Windows 10 Data Recovery Windows 10 Data Recovery Implications.  Well, tonight is the night.  Microsoft is rolling out it’s latest offering Windows 10 starting later this evening.  In fact, some people are already starting to see the data being downloaded into some system folders in preparation for the install.  We’re all hoping this will be a refreshing finished product compared with the Windows 8 blunder.

One thing very different this time is the free upgrade program for most users of Windows 7 and 8.  It seems that Microsoft is finally trying to get everyone on the same page and may ultimately streamline things for software developers if everyone is on the same OS for the first time since Windows 3.1.  Along with this free upgrade program comes a sort of forced beta test on all the home users.

Forced Version 10 Update on Windows Home Users

Unless you opted to buy a copy of Windows Professional, you might want to seriously consider turning off your updates right now.  At least until you’re sure you want to upgrade.  Don’t worry, your reservation can still be made up to a year from now.  Seems that anyone with automatic updates installed and a reservation is going to get a forced upgrade to the new OS, whether they like it or not.  Many speculate that this is essentially to test it out on home users and find the major bugs before the Pro users start upgrading.

Hopefully it’ll all go smoothly, but history has taught us some hard lessons about being the first in line for a new product.  Remember Windows Vista & Millennium anyone?  So far the reviews are positive, but there’s sure to be some bumps in the road relating to certain programs, even ones from Microsoft.  Just this week we had to help a customer export some Windows Movie Maker files to a different format because they were made in a version of the software that only Vista supported and can’t be opened in any other version (good job on that M$).

hard driveData Loss and Data Recovery Implications

Obviously being pushed out as an “update” this isn’t going to be a clean sweep type of install.  Your documents, pictures, etc. should all be kept intact while the OS around it is upgraded.  However some possibilities for data loss do exist.  For example, consider some of the following scenarios:

Example 1: Hard drive has some bad sectors, but they reside in areas of the platter seldom or never used.  Moving around a lot of data in an OS upgrade is likely to find these bad sectors that may have been previously undiscovered.  This could cause data corruption, failed install, or even complete HDD failure during the upgrade.  We often see this scenario on machines that are rarely rebooted such as servers and production line machines.

Example 2: Computer loses power during forced upgrade and the install fails.  Here in RI we’ve got a slew of thunderstorms rolling through right now, so it’s a strong possibility.  While the user files will likely be safe in this event, it’ll take some time to reinstall the OS (figure out which version to install) and copy the data back to the machine.

Example 3: Specialized software loses important data due to improper storage location.  While most programs default to store the user data in the user folder there are quite a number that allow the user to change the file locations.  A few foolishly store the user data in the Program Files or even Windows directories.  I certainly hope Windows 10 will keep a backup of these folders after the install, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

These are just a few possibilities of how you might lose data due to this upgrade, and there’s certainly other possibilities.  The best solution is to have a backup before the upgrade happens.

Windows 10 Data Recovery

Don’t panic if you’ve lost data due to upgrading!  In nearly all cases the data will be recoverable.  The steps taken immediately following the data loss is the larger determining factor.  Even if you want to attempt the data recovery on your own, you should consult a professional first.  You can get input from dozens of data recovery professionals on our forum: Data Medics Forum

Or if your data is very important and you’d like a professional to look at it please contact us immediately.

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